These two Babylons referred to in chapters 17-18 are two different Babylons. The first was the religious Babylon that was done away with mid-tribulation by the Anti-Christ and his allies, the ten kings, who brought her to ruin.
Babylon was the name John applied to both this false religion and empire of evil, as Babylon was synonymous with being the enemy of Gods people and of God and Gods programs.
This Babylon refers to is the center of world politics and commerce. Have you ever noticed how wealthy most national politicians are? Political power and wealth seem to go together. This city is the center of power, both politically and economically. It will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus at the end of the Great Tribulation with the Lords return. So we have now come to the end of the judgments and the end of the Beasts reign.
Many believe this city, this center of power and commerce will be the rebuilt city of Babylon on the plains of Shinar on the Euphrates River. Where ever this city is- it will be the world center of commerce, luxury and wealth like nothing ever before in history. In this chapter, we will read of its future demise.
The mighty and splendid angel who comes down in verse 1 of Revelation 18 shouts:
Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great! And with that pronouncement we will read of the utter destruction of the great city that was the center and symbol of sinful, luxury-pleasure loving people , boastful living that flaunted its wealthy and hatred for God Almighty. But be not deceived, God is not mocked, as we are about to read.
In verse 3, we read how all the nations, kings and merchants have grown rich with her excessive luxuries. Las Vegas is known as Sin City. The state of Nevada has grown wealthy in years past off of sin the only state for years to have legalized gambling and add to that legalized prostitution. The casinos there are some of the most luxurious, splendid structures in the world. They also resemble either famous cities of the world or of the past, such as Caesars Palace. Vegas will pale in comparison to this future Babylon- it will look like a county fair compared to Disney World.
Wealth and the acquisition of wealth can be a great temptation for all of us. That is why we are warned not to love the world and the things of the world. Staying free from the lure of money, position, power, and status symbols of the world is a battle we each face. Solomon said whoever loves money, never has enough. Jesus said you cannot serve God and money too. Paul writes to Timothy and warns- the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Paul also predicted in the end men would be lovers of money, not God boastful and proud. This is exactly what will happen as we see in this prophetic chapter.
God wants us to live a life of contentment. Contentment, peace, the purpose and meaning of life is found in relationships not possessions. The two greatest commandments on which all of scripture are founded both deal with relationships: Love the Lord thy God with all thy power and will all they mind; and love thy neighbor as thyself.
What we are about to read about is Gods judgment not on wealth and business, but Gods judgment on business and wealth that denies Gods authority and exploits the pleasures of sin as a way to become rich. It is often business that will be one of the excuses most often used by men for having no time for God or their families. Remember those invited to the wedding in the parable Jesus told? One has just bought a team of oxen and needed to go test them; another had purchased a field and needed to go see about his purchase; and still another parable the rich fool had so much wealth, he was planning an expansion project- tearing down a barn to build larger ones. The acquiring of wealth and property can be a hindrance to developing a relationship with God. It can become mans idol. This is not to say a wealthy person cannot be a committed Christian or that all that are poor or less wealthy are Christians. We see both wealthy and poor as believers in the Scriptures. However Jesus told us it easier for camel to go thru the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven-but He added- all things are possible with God.
The nations all grew wealthy from this Babylon, the kings ( politicians) had used her wealth and lavish campaign contributions to stay in power and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries. Merchants by the way do not produce goods or manufacture goods, they grow rich as brokers.
In verse 4 we read something interesting. There are evidently believers living in Babylon up to the very end. Notice God sends a message, a voice from heaven warning them to get out of Babylon. Like Lot getting out of Sodom to escape its demise, the Christians living in Babylon will be removed. God shows us in the Book of Genesis the ways He uses to save His people. He took Enoch out of the world before the flood, He saved Noah thru the flood with a vehicle of salvation, the ark; and He sent angels to warn Lot and his family to flee before the destruction of Sodom.
As always with Scripture, even future prophecy, we look for application to our lives on a daily basis. God wants us, His people, to come out of a sinful society. To be separate, not walking in the flesh but in the Spirit. How do we do this? How do we separate from this society , yet remain a part of it so we can witness to a lost and dying world? We start by not indulging our flesh- our old nature. Deal with sin in our lives. Confess it, turn from it- forsake it. Do you know we are told to judge our own sin? For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned of the world. ( I Cor. 11:31/32 KJV) (NIV) But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
Lets pull over to the side for a moment to discuss this truth. This does not mean there will be no consequences for sin- the law of sowing and reaping tells us we will sow what we reap, whether to the flesh or to the spirit. So you will not escape the negative consequences of your sin. But if you refuse to judge your sin, and continue on in it then the Lord will chasten you- punish you. He will discipline you, rebuking, chastening and even scourging.
How do we judge our sin? I John 1: 9 tells us : if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
To confess means to say the same thing God says about it. It means we take Gods viewpoint and say, God I agree with you. I have sinned against you. ( Like Prodigal). No excuses- no rationalizing it- no making it less of an offense than other sins, i.e., it is a little sin. Like the prodigal son, not only do we realize we have sinned against our father -confession without repentance is not really confession at all. For true confession involves repentance- turning and going the other way. No longer following the flesh, but walking after the Spirit. The prodigal son combined his confession with an action of repentance- he got up and went to his father. He changed directions. The message could not be clearer than it is today, the voice of heaven saying: Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not share in her plagues.
In verse 5, we are told the sins of this society, this empire of evil are piled up to heaven. Reminds me of the tower of Babel that was built up to the heavens, so high are her sins. And notice God remembers all of her crimes, her sins. But as believers, He no longer remembers our sins. They were nailed to the cross, covered with the blood and are no longer remembered by God who has chosen not only to forgive but forget. Praise God for His mercy, His love, His grace, His forgiveness and thank you Lord for your Forgetfulness in the matter of my sins .
Verses 6-8 remind us of Gods righteousness and justice and again that He will not be mocked-judgment is coming. Do you remember the verse in Luke 6? Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. The Lord is going to give back to her as she has given. It will be pressed down, shaken together, running over. Paid back double for what she has done. Give her as much torture and grief as she gave herself glory and luxury.
Boastful and proud, she never thought her days would end and she would never mourn- but she will be consumed by fire. Utterly destroyed. A life and way of life they thought would never end- did and it ended abruptly and unexpectedly.
Life has been described in many different ways: a race; a journey; a story, and even a game. The game of life.
If life is a game- some believe the money, acquired property,power and status is how you keep score. Just like in Monopoly. The game is won by the person who accumulates the most. But the board game of Monopoly teaches us a lesson doesnt it? When the game is over- it all goes back in the box.
So we race around the board of life, accumulating and enjoying the temporary rewards you obtain, but be careful- for it can lull you into a false sense of security that the game will never end.
We look around now with some age and experience and we see others, our children or grandchildren, young people who are just starting the game and we try to tell them what the real game of life is about. But everyone has to decide what the game of life is about and what he or she believes constitutes winning or losing in life.
Paul prayed- open the eyes of their heart,Lord so they might see what the game of life is about. To the hope to which they are called, to the glorious inheritance of the saints and the incomparable power that is available to those who believe.
The Lord Jesus who is called Wonderful Counselor gives us the best investment advice we can ever get- in fact He tells us how to be rich.
In His most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, our Counselor advises us: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. ( Do not invest long term in the following commodities,) Where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven ( long term investment- eternal investments) where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal. They are 100% safe and insured, guaranteed.
Then He tells us, in fact warns us of this truth: Where your treasure is there will be your heart also. Whatever you treasure- whatever you have decided the game of life is about will dominate your attention and your interest. Do not be foolish and waste time investing in things that will not last. Like the rich fool you have invested in storing in barns your possessions and then you die. The game ends- what happens to the stuff? It goes back in the box and someone else get to play with it.
Want to be rich? SURE. Why? To enjoy life, you say.
Want to enjoy life? Then be rich toward God. Being rich toward God means you love God and you love people. It is relationships that mean the most. Using the gifts you have to make money is fine if that money is invested in the people and the things of God. Other investments, the Lord told us do not last. Your home will belong to someone else, your clothes will given to strangers, your possessions will end up in three piles your heirs will pick through. One to be sold and the money split among heirs, another to be given away or thrown in the dump; and another pile to be kept by your heirs for its value, either sentimental or financial.
Being rich toward God begins with giving God what He wants most- what He desire more than anything- you. Your heart, your devotion. The reason God made you and me- was so He could be with us.
In Eden, God could walk and talk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening- it was His favorite time of day.
In fact, His plan for being able for us to spend eternity with Him, involved God putting on flesh and being born as a babe in Bethlehem- Immanuel, God with us.
Your 401K- temporary. Your home- temporary. Your car-temporary. Your clothes- temporary. In fact you can walk thru your life with a red sticker that says temporary and your can put it on everything you see and touch during a day, including your physical body. Your body is temporary- but not your soul.
When you get to the end of life and take your last breath what do you want your life to have been about? What does God care most about? People. So should we- if we want our lives to be truly rich.
Wise people build their lives around what is eternal and lasting, not temporary.
Want to put some stickers on what is temporary and what is eternal.
Temporary going back in the box.
My resume, my career.
Other peoples opinion of me.
Titles and positions.
Deeds of love.
Do you see what these people here in Revelation 18 treasured above all else? Temporary stuff. It is going back in the box.
Do you see why God hates this kind of luxury and wealth? It blinds people to the true riches of God. They settled for temporary stuff. It doesnt last. They did not know how to play the game, because they had the wrong goals the wrong object
they did not even know how to keep score.
Look at the reactions of the kings in verse 9&10: they are both devastated and terrified. The weep and mourn over her. This city represented power and wealth and it is gone in one hour.
Look at the merchants- their cash cow has died. Look at what they sold her and you can imagine walking in the finest most expensive stores, and restaurants.
Verse 12& 13 describe the wares: gold, silver, precious stones and pearls-jewelry of the most expensive kind; clothes from the finest designers made of the finest materials- money is no object- fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; next we see home décor- right out of Southern Living- costly wood, bronze nic-nacks, iron and marble; then over to the perfume counter for the sexiest and most costly scents; and then the finest foods and wines; the most expensive automobiles and notice what is also included- the bodies and souls of men. People spent their very lives- sold their souls to the company in order to gain these possessions, this power and status.
In verse 14-17- the merchants who brokered all these deals, who had grown wealthy selling overpriced goods to status conscious people have no market for their goods, they are ruined financially in one hour.
And in 17-19, we see the ship captains who thought this gravy train would never end- the shipping of goods and cargo to the city that never had enough of the goods they carried always wanting the newest, the latest, the richest. Now gone is their biggest customer- their fleets will be idled. They will be bankrupt in one hour.
But in heaven, there is a different response. Rejoicing for God has judged her for the way she treated you.
In verse 21- a mighty angel picks up a boulder the size of a millstone and threw it into the sea and tells us with the same violence will Babylon be thrown down. Never to be found again.
No more music. No more night clubs. No more prostitution. No more yachts, luxury spas, hotels and casinos. No more Ponzie schemes, no more stock market.
Never to be heard from again. Temporary. Gone. The game is over- and they lost everything.
Wasted- a life, an opportunity to have real wealth and real contentment.
Oh by the way- what is the game all about? It is the game of love. Without it I have nothing even if I speak with the tongues of angels, can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and have faith that can move mountains- if I do not have love- I have nothing.
If we knew the game of life was ending tomorrow- how would you spend today? That will show what is really important to you. Because most of us would want to spend it with family and friends in fact you know what we call them.. LOVED ONES.
No wonder it is the centerpiece of the two greatest commandments to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves and it is also the last commandment Jesus gave his disciples before his arrest and death.
A new commandment I give to you- to love one another as I have LOVED YOU.
Revelation is the final word of God. Previous revelation in this book has been largely Gods judgment on a wicked world. This chapter 19 deals with the Second Coming of Christ and the chapters that follow are the aftermath of the second coming. Why does He show us all of this? So we can see the end of things even present now. That we might fear the Lord. Scrooge was shown what could be his end and it literally scared the hell out of him in fear Scrooge ask the Spirit if a man changed would not his future change? But we must be born again- to be made new creatures- changing the old flesh- turning over a new leaf wont get it done. It is like putting new wine in and old wineskin- it will not hold. Change of this type comes only from being born again- Jesus could not have been more emphatic- You Must Be Born Again to enter the kingdom of God.
The Wedding Supper of the Lamb.
Let me remind you, we are now picking back up chronologically where we left off at the end of Chapter 16. Verse 17 of that chapter tells us: the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne say, It is done! It then describes the results of the pouring out of the seventh bowl of wrath of Gods final judgments. Earthquakes, cities of nations collapsed, islands and mountains leveled, huge hailstones weighing 100 lbs falling upon men.
In Revelation 18- we read of Gods complete destruction of Babylon. The great city, the center of political power and world wealth is destroyed in one hour. The kings, and merchants, and nations are devastated and weep and mourn in terror.
Chapter 19 picks up the events taking place in heaven as this destruction is observed. There is great rejoicing at Gods judgment of this wickedness whose sins were piled up to heaven. For the first time in the New Testatment, the word Hallelujah is used- not once but five times in a great Hallelujah chorus sung by the angels, and the believers of the ages.
Notice it says in verse 1. salvation and glory and power belong to our God. Salvation is defined as deliverance from danger or difficulty; in this case, the deliverance from the power and penalty of sin. Salvation is a gift of God- and therefore it is all of God. It is Gods salvation. David did not pray in his great confession prayer in Psalm 51- to restore to me the joy of my salvation- but thy salvation. It is available to all- God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance. It was the New Covenant that the Lord Jesus enacted at the cross. A covenant can be accepted or rejected- but it cannot be altered. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the light- no man comes to the Father except by ME.
Remember the Lord Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well? He explained salvation about as simply as it can be explained. If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. Here in lies the message and simplicity of salvation: the gift of God is salvation- the living water represents salvation and all that it entails ( forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and new creature born again of the indwelling Spirit); who controls it- Jesus- the Son of God, the Messiah, the God-Man- God in Flesh; how does one get it? Ask Him.
Why do not all ask Him? because all do not thirst for righteousness- they do not come into the light- because they prefer darkness. That is why they willfully suppress the truth with their wickedness.
Notice it also makes it clear to whom glory belongs- it belongs to God. Do you remember what was about Babylon How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously .I sit a Queen and am no widow and shall see no sorrow. ( Rev. 18:7 KJV) God will not share His Glory- He resists the proud- but He gives grace to the humble.
And all power belongs to God- All hail the Power of Jesus name!
In verse 2- we continue to praise Him for His judgment true and just, for His condemnation of the great prostitute for His avenging the blood of His servants.
Another round of Hallelujahs in verse three and we must remember these shouts are by millions and millions of saints- and angels in the greatest chorus of praise ever heard. It is beyond description. Like the sign in the mall- you are here if you are believer. You may find yourself, like John, standing next to an angel or a saint of the Old Testament or a reunited loved one. Oh what a day it will be!!
We see the 24 elders and the four mysterious living creatures we met earlier in Revelation fall down and worship God who is seated on the throne. Amen- agreement. Hallelujah- Praise the Lord.
The 24 elders are believed to be symbolical of believers of both the OT ( 12 tribes of Israel) and NT- 12 apostles. The four beasts covered with eyes which speak of the four gospels. The Lion is associated with the tribe of Judah and Matthew was careful to trace the Lord Jesus genealogy thru Judah. The Ox was the second creature. An ox is a domesticated servant animal known for its hard work. This relates to the gospel of Mark, where our Lord is pictured as a hard working servant of the Lord; the third creature had the face of a man and corresponds to the gospel of Luke where our Lords humanity was emphasized and referred to most often as the Son of Man; and last creature was an eagle- which referred to our Lords Deity and Heavenly origin and is associated with the gospel of John.
In verses 6- 9 we see the rejoicing for the wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given her to wear. Then the angel said to me(John), Write Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb.
I believe the wedding of the Lamb takes place in heaven- but the wedding supper may take place on earth. The blessed are those who are invited are the OT Saints and those believers- Jew and Gentile -who came to be saved during the tribulation and made it through the great tribulation to enter the Millennium.
Lets take a look at the symbolism of the Jewish marriage and its comparison to the description of the relationship of the church as the bride of Christ.
The Jewish bridegroom came from the house of his father to the house of the bride- there he would make a proposal of a contractual marriage with the father for his daughter if accepted this would be termed a betrothal. This contract included the bridegroom paying a dowry for the bride. More than an engagement this was a legal binding contract. This contract could not be done away with or a divorce performed- with exception of unfaithfulness. This why Joseph originally considered putting away Mary via divorce because she was found with child. During this betrothal period the marriage was not consummated- until after both the bride and bridegroom had made certain preparations. After the betrothal the bridegroom returned to the home of his father to prepare a place for him and his bride to live. Upon final completion and inspection by his father- the bridegroom would return to get his bride for a wedding ceremony. This included in Jewish tradition, the bridegroom accompanied by his friends at midnight to get his bride. The bride would be ready to join the procession to go back to the home of the bridegroom. After the wedding ceremony- the wedding party would attend a wedding supper.
It is this language of marriage that Jesus uses when he tells the disciples the night of his arrest– Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me. In my fathers house are many mansions- if it were not so I would have told you. ( You have Jesus word !) I go to prepare a place for you. ( Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people- are you prepared?) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. ( put your name in the place of you..) This is the unmistakable language of the bridegroom to his bride following the betrothal and his return to his fathers house to prepare the place where he and his bride will live. The contract has been offered, the dowry- the payment has been made by the bridegroom, the Lord Jesus who paid with blood more precious than silver or gold. The bride the church- the believers are readying themselves for the coming of the bridegroom. The next phase of the ceremony is the coming of the bridegroom for his bride which will be the rapture of the church. Our destination is the bridegrooms home, the Fathers house where a mansion has been prepared for us.
Now what happened when Jesus came to earth the first time? He presented himself to Israel and her leaders as the long awaited Messiah. He did this in the miracles he performed ( this is why John referred to these miracles as signs), the prophecy he fulfilled, the teaching he provided during his 3.5 year ministry. All the credentials were there for the leaders, the Pharisees , the scribes to see for they knew the Old Testament and its teachings and prophecies regarding the coming Messiah. Remember-John the Baptist after his arrest sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus point blank was he the messiah? Jesus told them to go tell John the miracles they had witnessed- the fulfillment of prophecy. He did not give promises- he gave clearly observable evidence that reflected the predicted ministry of the Messiah when he would come. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. (Luke 7:22) Prophesized in Isaiah.
When Jesus came into Jerusalem the last week, he was making a statement of who he was to the leadership of the Jews. He rode in on a donkey colt. The scripture was specific in Zechariah 9:9- Rejoice daughter of Zion! Behold your king is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly, riding on a donkey- a colt the foal of a donkey. The people cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday, but the leaders of Israel, the High Priest had already decided to not accept his offer- to not only turn it down but to kill him. This plot to murder Jesus had taken place after the resurrection of Lazarus, a well known citizen living in Bethany. Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days when Jesus resurrected him and restore him to life. It was reported by John in 11th chapter of John that many of the Jews that came to see Mary and seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. Caiaphas the High Priest and others agreed if Jesus was not eliminated all would come to believe on him and they would lose both their place and their nation. So they began to plot to kill Jesus.
Jesus explained this in the parable of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 22. Here Jesus tells us exactly what was going to happen. A certain king made a marriage for his son. He sent forth his servants ( the prophets of old, as well as believers ever since Calvary) to call them that were bidden to the wedding but they would not come. He sent repeated messages telling them all had been done the feast was prepared. But the invited refused and treated his servants spitefully- remember what Jesus said of Jerusalem- O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets of God; how I would have gathered you under my wings as a mother hen- but you would not. The invitation then went out to all and to those who accepted they were supplied with wedding garments- clothed with righteousness, the bride has made herself ready. But one who showed up without proper clothing was cast out.
Make no mistake- there is only one way to heaven- Jesus is the way. Everything has been done- the invitation has been sent and continues to go out. You must RSVP- respond if you please- and be wearing the right garments- the wedding garment of His righteousness.
After the marriage of the Lamb in heaven, the next great event is the return of Christ to the earth. The King is coming- just like MacArthur said to the Phillipians, I will return- His coming is sure and I believe soon. He will come after the church is raptured and after the Great Tribulation.
Now He comes to earth with His bride- to the marriage supper here on earth.
Verse 11&12 describe this glorious event: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes are as a flame of fire ( fire speaks of judgment) and on his head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.
This is certainly different from the first way He entered the world as the babe of Bethlehem born in a manager.
He is called Faithful- because He has come to execute the long standing- long unfolding program of God.
He is called True- because He is not only truthful, He is the standard of Truth.
He comes this time to judge and make war- thus the white horse. For He did not come to die on a cross this time.
His eyes are as a flame of fire- judging and destroying.
On His head are many crowns- speaks of His sole rule of all things. All is under Him now- He is king of kings and Lord of lords. His rule is absolute and eternal.
And He had a name written, no man knew but He Himself. A mystery that perhaps will be revealed in eternity as finally we will begin to really know Him. For Jesus Himself said- this is eternal life to know the true and living God and the One whom He has sent.
Verses 13-16 further describe the returning Lord Jesus and those who accompany Him.
Verse 13 tells us: He( Lord Jesus) is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The blood is not the blood shed for our sins at Calvary, this is the blood of the Lords enemies as described in Isaiah 63 where his garments are red from trampling his enemies. His name is the Word of God. The Bible is the written word of God and the Lord Jesus is the Living Word of God, the word made flesh. Both serve one purpose- to reveal God so you can personally come to know Him. To reject the Word of God is to reject His Son and visa versa. Jesus said- if you really knew me- you would know my Father as well. Anyone who has seen me- has seen the Father.
Verse 14 describes the scene: the armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean, The white horses represent victory; the fine linen, white and clean represent purity. This army, I believe represent the raptured church, the redeemed following their Leader as they appear as a great cloud.
Verse 15 states: Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword, with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron scepter The word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword. It is life giving, life changing and life sustaining. With His Spoken word He created the world and everything in it- and His word can save you and cleanse you— but as we see here it can also destroy you. The word that brings life can also bring death. Remember death is separation and that is what the two edged sword the word of God does -it separates.
On His robe and his thigh are written- King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This denotes His Supreme Sovereignty. The many crowns represent the crowns of all the nations. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord of all.
As we continue we see what happens to those who would vainly try to do battle with Almighty God. An angel cries with a loud voice and calls the birds of the air to come gather for a different kind of supper in stark contrast to the invitation to the wedding supper of the Lamb. This invitation is to the birds of the air to feed on the dead bodies of those killed in the judgment of the Lord.
In verse 19 we see the beast, the world ruler, the Anti-Christ and his false prophet brought to judgment. They are captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire. The rest of them were killed with the sword, the Word of God, that came out of the mouth of the Lord.
This lake of fire is NOT Hades. Up to this point NO unbeliever who has died before the second coming of Christ has been cast into the lake of fire. The beast the false prophet are cast there, however, the other unbelievers are still in Hades until the end of the 1000 year reign of the Lord on earth. They will be brought out of Hades at that time to face judgment at the Great White Throne which we will read about in the closing chapters.
Next week we will see the kingdom of heaven come to earth. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, his disciples asked Jesus- will you at this time- set up your kingdom? Jesus did NOT say there would be no kingdom on earth- but it was not for them to know when it would come to pass- for this was something only God the Father knew.
In teaching his disciples and us to pray He taught us to pray thy kingdom come.
I still think of those words he spoke the night of his arrest IF IT WERE NOT SO, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU!
Copyright © 2010 Linda Benthal
Last modified: 08/12/14